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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(2):214-23.

Bacterial flora from the gut of the wild and cultured banana prawn, Penaeus merguiensis.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

Abstract

AIMS:

There is growing awareness of the influence of the bacterial composition of the gut on the health and growth of the host. This study compared the bacterial flora from the digestive system of the wild and cultured prawn, Penaeus merguiensis.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Whole guts were dissected from wild and cultured prawns and divided into sections corresponding to the foregut, digestive gland, midgut and hindgut. Homogenates of these sections were plated onto seawater nutrient agar and the colonies identified to genus level and, in some cases, species. Quantitative and qualitative comparisons amongst gut regions for both wild and cultured prawns are presented.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both wild and cultured prawns supported remarkably similar bacterial floral compositions, which included members from the genera Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, Photobacterium, Pseudoalteromonas, Pseudomonas and Vibrio. Members of the genus Vibrio were quantitatively dominant. A number of Vibrio species were recovered solely from cultured prawns. Of these, Vibrio gazogenes was the most notable (numerically dominating in all but the midgut). The opportunistic pathogen V. parahaemolyticus was also recovered.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The remarkable similarity of gut compositions between wild and cultured prawns, despite being drawn from very different habitats, suggests an influence of the host on the establishment of the gut flora. An understanding of host/gut floral interactions has significance in fostering conditions which promote the growth of cultivated hosts.

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